December 31, 2012 Subject:
Try To Sell Something Impractical and Unnecessary
Less then 7 years out of the dreary days of the depression the drive is on to sell sell sell - this time, sterling silver - even though one place setting costs over one half of a weeks pay for the typical (still often laid off) worker bee. But those womens' hats and through-the-roof wedding gowns du jour showed what drama queens they were and so what's a better thing to hawk to them then perenially corny, understood-by-few used-by-even-fewer; sterling silver tableware. And OH! Even peasants can afford it, right now - on time, of course, where they actually deduct it from your paycheck! How convenient - for them.
My parents apparently bought theirs about this time (and I bet "on time") and it was never seen again (or for the first time by me) until late in the 1960's when this mysterious wooden box was pulled out from beneath old draperies and bags of old clothes which sat for years and years on the attic floor. Taken downstairs, admired for a few weeks, polished (what a chore!) and used no more then once; then given to moms godchild as a wedding present, which the godchild sold piece by piece for fixes to support her habit. By 1977 the whole set was gone and godchild used other things to earn money for a fix.
We lived perfectly well both before, and after knowing it was even there - for decades, in fact!
Couldn't sell a set of sterling any more likely then an encyclopedia, so they invented stainless steel applicances to satisfy that "Bowerbird" instinct that makes shiny things so irresistable to humans.
OK film so typical of its genre and the best scene is the woman's cah-ray-zee! feather spike hat in the store scene.
May 4, 2010 Subject:
Film made for salesman of International Sterling SIlver
Of course with World War II, this whole concept of selling sterling silver using the installment plan fell apart. The film itself, repeats the same information over and over again. The entire production (Probably made in 1940 and released in 1941) is stilted, even using the refined voice of actor Conrad Nagel and color.
Reviewer:Paul M. -
April 30, 2010 Subject:
Not sure I agree with the others.
This film is about designer clothing, $1,000 + ugly purses,spinning rims. It may have its early roots on Sterling street but that is about it. This is just my simple view as I"m often wrong but that is fine.
March 20, 2010 Subject:
The International Silver Co. wanted everyone to know that sterling silver wasn't just for successful---almost any schmuck can afford it through the magic of installment credit! You see, the industry was plodding along selling to the rich and ignoring everybody else until 1938 when International hit upon an ingenious way to market their wares. You won't believe it: ADVERTISING!!!! On CBS and in Life Magazine and lots of other magazines too! With a collective palm to the forehead, the rest of the industry said, "Why didn't we think of that!?"
The couple getting married at the beginning of the film look odd---he is obviously uncomfortable; she looks like the cat that ate the canary. At first I thought she might have gotten herself pregnant so he'd marry her. By the end, however, I became convinced that he was contemplating the cost of the silver set she's pressuring him to buy, while she was thinking that in the coming divorce she's damn well getting the sterling! Alas, a few months after this film was made, he'd be off to the army and she to a war plant. As for silver---unavailable for the duration! Them's the breaks!
February 23, 2010 Subject:
Sad in retrospect.
This film goes on and on about how the silver industry has been expanding their consumer base and talking like every home in America will soon have their own big old boxes of silverware. 1941 is touted as the next big year. You just have to wince at them not knowing what's just around the corner. It's even worse than that, since Wikipedia says the entire silver market went on a downward slide after the war due to raising labor costs and changing fashion. So this entire film promoting the future of silverware was made at the peak before the decline. That's just sad.
And to me, the whole thing seems pretty silly. You just know that stuff will rarely be used and probably end up being pawned by their kids. Personally, I'm quite happy with our no-need-to-polish stainless steel flatware, thank you very much.
September 2, 2003 Subject:
Sterling Silver has never been so cheap!
This is an epic of unbelievable proportions.. I am agog as to what to say. I will try though.
This is probably the cheapest looking Jam Handy short film I have ever laid my eyes on. Let's start at the very beginning!
From the start, we see some very badly lit cards, poorly chosen music etc etc. A couple get married, then a husband gives his wife a dimaond ring that clearly is 2 sizes too many.
The film then focuses on the history of people buying silver (using cheap cards again) and a VERY badly done set, with actors in cheap costumes.. Is this supposed to represent 1920?? The wife wants silver badly, but it's too expensive! Soon after, the Silver Theater comes on the air, sponsored by International Theater ("You're On The Air!" a emcee whispers.. We also see an "On The Air" sign in case we MISSED it. Flash forward to 1940, now we can finance our silver purchases, and every Tom Dick And Harry can have a heavy Silver dispay look totally out of place in their cheap badly mortgaged apartment! Joy!
Once again, badly edited, laughable cue cards. and just amazing cheapness. It's a shocker to see the Jam Handy moniker on this. Nevertheless, it's a MUST SEE on this site!
No synopsis in Educational Film Guides.
Ken Smith sez: This is a film about silverware, not moving. "Sterling Street," according to this film's narrator, was the monicker once given to the wealthiest street in a town -- the only street where every resident could afford silverware. But now, he cheerfully explains, everyone can afford silverware -- thanks to the miracle of installment buying.
"A ship of matrimony," the narrator tells us, should be "fitted out with the best gear a couple can buy." By way of example, we are first introduced to newlyweds Bill and Mary, who opt for PLATEware. The narrator tells us that they've sacrificed "lifelong prestige" for the lesser rewards of "other things." "A heritage was within their grasp!" he laments. Thankfully, a second newlywed couple, Hank and Alice, are more reasonable; they know that sterling is "a tangible expression of good taste," and "will truly give substance to their adoration." Get the picture?
Camera pans down stone church and cuts to wedding ceremony - camera is facing minister
MCU Bride and Groom
Wedding march is playing all through this part.
CU Groom mouthing "I Do"
Cut to minister
CU Bride, she looks to her right and smiles, turns back to camera and mouths
Cut to minister who raises his hands and mouths: "I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU MAN AND WIFE"
"JUST MARRIED" - large title across screen, camera pans as car drives away with "just married" sign fastened to its rear
MCU man and woman standing together from the knees down; woman lifts her heels as if she is kissing taller man and slowly lifts (bends) one leg seductively
NOTE: the woman's shoes are bright blue with pompoms on the toes.
She is wiping his chin with a napkin.
They sit down on couch together; he presents her with an engagement ring
CU man putting ring on girl's finger
She hugs him
Couple working on budget, man is smoking
Graphic with dollar sign ($) and coins around it
Series of pages from a 1941 calendar
Woman opens refrigerator and takes out milk
Woman hands man a hammer, he hands it back and she begins to hammer (curtain rod?)
"Our house shall be beautiful, because our love is beautiful"
Settings for sterling silver
Couple sitting in living room, man playing with dog
woman looking through magazine
Covers of "Social Register-New York & Who's Who in America"
Salesman showing a woman a sterling coffee pot
Title: 1938, then CBS
Face of a clock - 6:00 exactly
Sign (fills whole screen) ON THE AIR
Radio announcer reading into microphone
Woman sitting in front of radio listening to sterling silver advertising pitch
Map of U.S., Title HOLLYWOOD with animated radio waves emanating
Man walking up to door, rings door, woman answers, he takes survey
Cover of LIFE magazine
Man hammering (silversmith)
CU setting of International silver, $16.75
Covers of LIFE, VOGUE, BRIDE'S & TOWN AND COUNTRY superimposed
CU Bride's Magazine, hands open to pages
Huge title - OPPORTUNITY
Cover of TOWN & COUNTRY magazine, man flips through pages
Office door reading: International Silver Co.. Sales and Advertising
CU pair of hands typing, camera pans up to typewritten page
CU woman's legs, camera pans up to show she is reading LIFE magazine
Superimposed magazine covers
Excellent woman reading Life Magazine!
MCU SILVER THEATER Presenting International Sterling
CU hand adjusting a radio
CU man at CBS microphone
CU pictures of Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Ginger Rogers, Bette Davis, Merle Oberon, Jimmy Stewart
CU old radio
MCU Salesman helping two ladies, (check the hat on the left)
Art card of sun coming up over horizon and title "36,000,000 SELLING MESSAGES
THEN TO TITLE "126,000,000 SELLING MESSAGES"
THEN "A GRAND TOTAL OF 162,000,000", then "13-1/2 MILLION SELLING MESSAGES EVERY MONTH"
VS doors and houses
Set table, CU of one of the settings
Woman standing by window at table scanning LIFE magazine
Husband walks up and she shows him page in magazine
Same couple in store looking at sterling flatware
Same couple opening chest of sterling at home, taking it out and laying it on cloth
VS Display of chest of sterling silver dinnerware
CU cover of LIFE
MCU set table with sterling object on shelf behind
MCU Money bags and stacks of coins
FAMILIES COUPLES SILVERWARE HOUSEHOLDS HOUSES HOMES COUPLES WEDDINGS MARRIAGE FOOD UTENSILS MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS NEWSPAPERS MAGAZINES Silver Couples Marriage Weddings Consumerism Radio broadcasting Radio studios Animation Money Dollar signs (zoom in on graphic) Churches Bells (ringing) Ringing (bells) Signs ("Just Married" on car) Automobiles ("Just Married" signs) Kisses Feet (during kiss) Sexuality (suggestive) Shoes Legs Lipstick (woman wipes off man's face) Engagement Cigarette smoking Men and women Head scratching Worry Embraces Happiness Savings Graphic design Calendars (1941) Refrigerators Curtains (hanging) Home improvements Hammers Cutlery Silverware Silver (sterling) Graphic (1920-23) Couples (1920s) Fireplaces Catalogs (reading) Salesmen (in store) Shopping Clocks (6:00) Radio programs Radio (production) Finger pointing Signs ("On The Air") Radio advertising Advertising (radio) Radio (listening to, woman) Maps (United States) Animation (radio waves) Radio waves (animated) Titles ("1939") Salesmen (door-to-door) Forms (filling out) Magazines (Life) Life magazine Magazine covers Silversmiths Engraving Budgets Magazines (Vogue) Magazines (Bride's) Magazines (Town and Country) Vogue magazine Bride's magazine Town and Country magazine International Silver Co. (sponsor) Titles ("1940") Magazines (reading, woman) Reading (magazines, woman) Advertising Graphics ("opportunity") Titles ("1941") Typing Pipe smoking Businessmen Meetings Conferences Legs (woman's) Wallpaper Mademoiselle magazine Magazines (Mademoiselle) Radio programs ("Silver Theatre") Photographs (movie stars) Hats Fashions (1940s) Title cards (sales impressions) Houses and homes (Georgian) Houses and homes (mansions) Mansions Graphics ("Today") Streets Houses and homes (middle-class) Dinner tables Table settings Candles Dolls (brides) Maps (U.S., animated) Graphics ("Your Town") Money bags Coins (in bags) Gold (in bags) Wealth Grapes